When designing a landscape, choosing the right foundation shrubs can make or break the final outcome. Too often, not enough consideration is given to the foliage, or whether plants are evergreen, when shrubs are placed around a home. By choosing evergreen foundation shrubs that offer interesting foliage, you’ll create a better year-round backdrop for the rest of your garden.
You’ll also want to make sure to choose shrubs that are hardy and long-lived, as replacing mature foundation plantings can be challenging. While we all want instant gratification in the garden, avoid overcrowding your foundation plantings. Be sure to place new plantings at a spacing that will accommodate their mature size.
Elaegnus x ebbingei, offers up evergreen foliage that almost shimmers in the landscape. As the foliage ages, it turns a very dark green with silvery undersides. And while its blooms might not be showy, they are incredibly fragrant.
If you need an evergreen backdrop for a shady location, Pittosporum tobira ‘Variegata’ offers up distinctive foliage and a pop of color contrast. Plants grow into a natural mounded shape that works as an evergreen no-shear foundation hedge. Pair with purple foliage plants for a showy combination.
If you need a somewhat smaller foundation planting, consider a more unusual choice: Rosemary. Rosemary ‘Tuscan Blue’ is an evergreen herb that grows into a shrub-like form. Rosemary is particularly suited to hot, dry landscapes and a sunny location.
When choosing your foundation shrubs, be sure to choose varieties that are evergreen in your climate. Watering your shrubs consistently will also keep the foundation of your home from drying out and shifting.